- Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Could a second Biden term be more injurious to our economy than his first?

It seems unimaginable given that the first three years gave us 20% inflation, a $2,000 loss in average real incomes for the middle class, 6 million more illegal immigrants, a war on American energy that has caused average gasoline prices to rise by more than 40% to $3.64 a gallon, the collapse of many of our major cities, $6 trillion added to the national debt, the unaffordability of new homes, and the chaos on college campuses.

So, what’s the encore to that abysmal performance? If it comes to that, what will “Bidenomics 2.0” look like?

Remember, the Republicans have narrowly controlled the House since the midterm elections of 2022, which has put a modest break on President Biden’s more dangerous ambitions. Still, a Biden blue wave could mean Democrats run the table and control the House and the Senate.

If Mr. Biden wins, he will argue that voters have given him a mandate — to move forward with radical redistribution policies.

Here’s a cheat sheet on the top five Bidenomics 2.0 policy priorities:

(1) Tax rates on investment up to 70%.

Mr. Biden didn’t get most of his tax increases through Congress. His latest proposal does this to rates: I calculate that the tax on a $1 million investment that earns $1 million would be as high as 70%, wiping out two-thirds of the gain. Business investment would crash, and trillions of dollars of capital would flow like a tidal wave to lower-tax nations.

(2) $2 trillion in new debt spending.

Liberals have been complaining that even though Mr. Biden passed $6 trillion of new spending — adjusted for inflation somewhat less than what we spent to fight and win World War II — there was almost $2 trillion on its wish list that got left on the cutting board for green energy, welfare benefits, student loan bailouts, and the like. Now, Democrats would have the votes to pass it. This means more income redistribution programs, green energy spending, corporate welfare giveaway, and a decade ahead with $10 trillion in added debt spending.

(3) A “net zero” energy policy eliminating production of nearly all of our abundant fossil fuels.

The United States still gets between 70% and 80% of its energy from old-fashioned oil, gas, coal and diesel. Mr. Biden says he’s fully committed to net-zero fossil fuels and getting nearly all our energy from the electric grid. Not only is that a technological pipe dream that would require doubling the capacity of a power grid already experiencing brownouts in states like California, but it would also make our entire $13 trillion economy dependent on one source. The cost of heating your home would likely double or triple.

(4) An end to right-to-work laws in 26 states.

Mr. Biden and labor union bosses tried mightily to push the Protecting the Right to Organize Act over the goal line, but they fell a few votes short. That bill would replace right-to-work laws in the mostly red states with a universal “closed shop” forced union policy. This would mean businesses, shops and factories that fled to red states like Florida and Texas would move operations overseas.

(5) The antitrust assault on Silicon Valley and corporate mergers ramps up.

We’ve seen the craziness of Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Kahn, who wants to effectively eliminate all mergers and acquisitions, even in industries such as social media, search engines, software, video streaming, cellphones, credit cards, artificial intelligence and online retail transactions. This will raise prices for consumers, dramatically slow innovation and cripple the ability of startup businesses to raise capital, thus putting America’s trillions of dollars of global tech dominance in grave danger. Remember, these globally dominant companies, the “Magnificent Seven” stocks, have added almost half the gains in the stock market over the past nine months.

There is more to worry about under Bidenomics in a second term. One worry is that Democrats will agree to eliminate checks and balances in our system of government by overturning the filibuster rule of at least 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation. Another concern is that Democrats will lock in their electoral strength by making the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico states to put four more Democrats in the Senate. Remember, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia heroically voted to save the filibuster — but they won’t be around in January to stop the court-packing.

Could American businesses and families survive being smashed by the gale-force winds of another Bidenomics hurricane in 2025 without capsizing the ship this time? I wouldn’t bet on it.

• Stephen Moore is a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity.

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